Border communities and immigrant rights advocates, including the National Immigrant Justice Center, have spoken out for years about the ways Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement harm children and families who come to the U.S. seeking safety. The urgency for Congress to hold the agency accountable has only increased with the Trump administration’s escalating attacks on migrants. The consequences of Congress’s inaction include the recent death of seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin in CBP custody, and the death this summer of two-year-old Mariee Juarez soon after she was released from an ICE detention center.
This week, however, several members of Congress, including newly elected officials, are taking their oversight jobs seriously and visiting the border to hold the administration to account for the human rights abuses it is committing. We applaud their leadership, and look forward to their continued strength when it comes time to vote on how much money taxpayers will send to CBP and ICE. After visiting the site of Jakelin’s death and experiencing border officials physically blocking families from requesting protection, the members must use their vote to #DefundHate and cut funding to CBP and ICE.